WHERE SPIRITUALISM AND TOURISM CO-EXIST

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WHERE SPIRITUALISM AND TOURISM CO-EXIST

Thursday, 24 November 2022 | Niharika NIGAM

WHERE SPIRITUALISM AND TOURISM CO-EXIST

Rishikesh welcomes tourists and spirituality buffs alike

Do you know a place where the concept of heaven and haven go hand in hand? Where sacred chants on the Ganga are on one side and adventure sports are on the other? This is where tourists gather from all across the globe to seek peace and mastery in the art of life. Yes, we are talking about the mystic land of Rishikesh.

Known for thousands of years for its cultural significance and lush green mountains with therapeutic waterfalls, here you can jump, float, relax, meditate, enjoy an evening by the bonfire and enjoy a cup of chai in the arms of nature!

Did you know that the Lakshman Jhula has a historical significance from Ramayana? Placed on the mystic Ganga, standing here will leave you mesmerised by sacred chants and the serenity of the river. If you want solitude to post on your Instagram, this is the place! Just like Lakshman Jhula, there are many stunning spots in Rishikesh: Triveni Ghat, Neer Garh Waterfalls, caves, ashrams, temples, Yoga retreats and much more. Oh! And while you are wandering the streets, do not forget to explore the shopping hubs, Teesri Manzil Temple and exotic cafes.

Extreme adventure sports are one of the significant reasons to visit Rishikesh, making it the official adventure capital of India. Barring the monsoons from mid-august to mid-September, adventures go on through the year here.  As rafting resumes, tourism floods back into Rishikesh, and if you are looking for something mind-bending and oh-so-exhilarating, bungy jumping is what will have brought you to Rishikesh. It is at Rishikesh that Bungy jumping began in India 12 years ago. Jump amidst the glorious natural landscape of the hilly region to experience the real deal. This also happens to be India’s highest bungy platform.

Along with outward adventures, you can visit one of the yoga retreats in Rishikesh. The holy city is a hub for yoga training and meditation centres. There is a thriving culture of Ashrams which offer a myriad of workshops and stay options to harmonise from within—a much needed reset from the bustling city life. Get a pair of active wear that you can practice breathing exercises and yoga postures in. And if you are planning for a long vacation like a month, you can take one of the yoga certification courses to delve into the experience in detail.

The spot is filled with innumerable cafes. The Beatles cafe, themed upon the famed Beatles band, known to have composed some of their best works in Rishikesh, is one of the most popular touristy ones but there are so many more. Overlooking the Ganges, or the mountains, they offer a sight to behold and delicious pahaadi khaana with trance music- and even live bands often! Most have the classic hippie touch and feel, while some are the small Maggi shops that everyone loves amidst the mountains. Do not forget to wake up early and catch the classic aloo puri available locally.

Even if you are in Rishikesh for just a few days, brace yourself and enjoy every moment you spend in Rishikesh. As one of the most unique places in India, it is truly a treasure trove. Take back a huge bag of memories enough to last a lifetime!

(The author is Director, Business Development at  Jumpin Heights)

 

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